Colonel Michael Fenzel (US Army), who defended his Ph.D. dissertation in the NSA Department in 2013 ("No Retreat: the Failure of Soviet Decision-making in the Afghan War, 1979-1989"), has been promoted to brigadier general (BG). His next assignment will be in Afghanistan. Based on the dissertation, his book, No Miracles: The Failure of Soviet Decision-Making in the Afghan War is being published by Stanford University Press (November 2017).
In his book, BG Fenzel explores why and how that although the Soviet Union's senior leaders had become aware that their strategy in Afghanistan was unraveling, their operational and tactical methods were not working, and the sacrifices they were demanding from the Soviet people and military were unlikely to produce the forecasted results, operations in Afghanistan persisted for four more years. For more information about his book, click here.
In a chapter titled “Building a Dam for China in the Three Gorges Region, 1919–1971” in the forthcoming book Water, Technology and the Nation-State (Routledge, June 2018), NSA Professor Covell Meyskens highlights three notable features of Chinese efforts to build the Three Gorges Dam between the 1910s and 1970s. First, Chinese leaders exhibited the late developer’s penchant for state-led industrialization. Second, Chinese elites conceived of the Three Gorges Dam as the centerpiece of a program to technologically re-engineer the Yangzi River to boost national power and overcome China’s position of international weakness. Lastly, due to insufficient domestic capital, elites formed partnerships with more technologically advanced countries. These three trends resulted in two technological styles. The dominant technological style was technocratic. Only during the Great Leap Forward did a Maoist technological style gain prominence, putting more stock in mass mobilization and national voluntarism than technical expertise and industrial equipment.
To read more, click here.
Given the ongoing interest in organized crime within the Republic of Turkey, NSA Professor Ryan Gingeras offers analysis of major controversies affecting the Turkish state today. Grounded in deeper historical research, he contributes to the broader conversation about the mechanics of Turkish politics and society today, and the current trajectory of the country's main civil and political institutions. His contributions are featured in three new publications: “An Empire Redeemed: Tracing the Ottoman State’s Path towards Collapse” in The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire; a co-authored report titled Power and Corruption in Erdogan’s Turkey: Context and Consequences for the Bipartisan Policy Center; and an “Is Turkey Turning into A Mafia State? The Case of Reza Zarrab and the Rise of Organized Crime” in Foreign Affairs.
Click here for more about “An Empire Redeemed.”
Click here for more about Power and Corruption in Erdogan’s Turkey.
Click here for more about “Is Turkey Turning into A Mafia State?”
The NSA department if proud to report that Professor Afshon Ostovar, a new hire and resident expert on Iran, has been recognized with a distinguished book award. His book, Vanguard of the Imam: Politics, Religion, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, has received the Bronze Medal in the Washington Institute’s 2017 Book Prize competition. The judges hailed the book as “the first comprehensive history of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in English.” They went on to say, Professor Ostovar “masterfully marshals information from a wide variety of sources, including Iranian publications. He traces how the IRGC evolved from a rag-tag militia established in the midst of revolutionary upheaval into a formidable military.” Congratulations to Professor Ostovar on this professional feat and for elevating NPS’s academic standing with his meritorious scholarship.
For more on the competition and prize, click here.
For more about Professor Ostovar's book, click here.
Professor Mohammed Hafez, Chairman of the Department of National Security Affairs, published his research on rebel-on-rebel fratricide and its consequences for jihadi movements seeking to win their civil wars. He finds that jihadis that deploy fratricidal violence against civilians and rival rebel groups often end up failing to achieve their objectives because they alienate their supporters, drive away external sponsors, and fragment the ranks of their movement. Professor Hafez uses the cases of Algeria, Iraq, and Syria to illustrate how puritanical ideologies facilitate fratricide and preclude learning from past mistakes, resulting in defeat after defeat. He also discusses the implications for fighting future iterations of the Islamic State.
To read Professor Hafez's article in the CTC Sentinel, click here.
To read Professor Hafez's article in Terrorism and Poltical Violence, click here.
NSA Professor Jessica Piombo has been awarded one of the Minerva Initiative University Grants. It is part of the full grant program that OSD Minerva runs, rather than the defense institution program, which means that this is an award for three years for a project that she will conduct with Professor Pierre Englebert from Pomona College. The two will split the $780k grant between their two institutions. The basic topic asks why states respond to international intervention in different ways. More specifically, why do some states cooperate with international statebuilding interventions as passive recipients of external action, while others are much more controlling of the processes of international intervention, and yet others seem to go along with the goals and programs of international actors, yet undermine the implementation of programs.
The project will look at interventions in fragile and post-conflict states are often designed and implemented by outside actors as technocratic responses to situations of political disorder, state weakness, and civil unrest. The interventions, often built on international best practices, rarely unfold in the ways initially conceived by their designers, however, because in reality, these are highly political processes. The awardees propose to investigate how the ways that local actors and institutional environments engage with these projects during implementation significantly changes their nature, by proposing two related questions. First, how do local political dynamics explain variations in the degree and type of engagement of African regimes with outside actors, particularly in conflict-affected countries where international and local agents share sovereignty? Second, how do these variations condition the course of the intervention and the actions of the interveners?
For a fuller description of the project, click here.
The NSA Department extends a warm welcome to its newest faculty member and alumnus, Colonel Uwe Hartmann, PhD from Germany. Prior to coming to back to the Naval Postgraduate School, COL Hartmann as the branch head of Principles Military Doctrine and Command and Control of Land Forces at Army Command in Strausberg, Germany and more recently a course member at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. In 2001, he received his Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs (an NSA program) from NPS. COL Hartmann’s teaching interests include NATO, the European Union, strategic thinking and leadership. He has published extensively over the years and has served as the co-editor of Yearbook on the Leadership Philosophy of the German Armed Forces (Jahrbuch Innere Fuehrung).
For more on COL Hartmann, click here.
NSA Professor Scott Jasper recently had an article published in The Diplomat and another in The National Interest, both on cyber defense. In the article in The Diplomat, titled “Russia Sanctions Are Insufficient: Use Active Cyber Defense,” he advocates the use of active cyber defense as an answer to cyber threats, such as those emanating from Russia or North Korea. A strategy of active cyber defense combines internal systemic resilience to halt cyber attack progress with external disruption capacities to thwart a malicious actors’ objectives. Jasper argues active cyber defense will be more effective than economic sanctions or diplomatic expulsions.
Recently, Professor Jasper spoke at CyCon US in Washington, DC as part of a panel on cyber deterrence; he spoke on about the insufficiency of current strategies. He offered in response the use of automated cyber defenses that halt attacks before damage is inflicted. Based on defeating global ransomware attacks, his arguments are presented in an online article in The National Interest titled “Russia and Ransomware: Stop the Act, Not the Actor.”
To read the article in The Diplomat, click here.
To read the article in The National Interest, click here.
NSA Professor S. Paul Kapur has recently had two new works published. The first is an article in a recent issue of Foreign Policy, co-authored with Sumit Ganguly. In the article, titled “Is India Starting to Flex Its Military Muscles,” the authors discuss the summer 2017 deployment of India’s troops to the Doklam plateau near the Bhutan-China-India border to prevent China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from constructing a road. The standoff lasted two months. The authors argue this is not another insignificant Sino-Indian spat along the border region. Instead, they believe the incident could signal changes in India’s strategic character and investigate what may have prompted India to be confrontational.
The second piece is a chapter in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Political Behavior (edited by Dr. Fathali M. Moghaddam, Georgetown) titled “Stability-Instability Paradox.” In the chapter, Professor Kapur explores the logic of the stability-instability paradox and its central role in nuclear deterrence. He also discusses policy challenges created by the stability-instability paradox with regard to nuclear-armed states. Finally, he explains why the stability-instability paradox will remain an inescapable problem for nuclear states in the future.
To read “Is India Starting to Flex,” click here.
To read the “Stability-Instability Paradox,” click here.
NSA Professor Anne Marie Baylouny and U.S. Air Force Lt Col. Creighton Mullins, a former NSA student, have co-written an article just published in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism titled “Cash is King: Financial Sponsorship and Changing Priorities in the Syrian Civil War.” In the article, the authors consider what happens when foreign patrons provide lavish amounts of cash to rebels without mechanisms of accountability, and they analyze analyzes three major sources of funding and their micro-level effects on insurgent-groups in the Syrian civil war. Through this sponsorship, funders promote Islamist ideologies and regional issues over local issues.
A 2015 graduate, Mullins received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) in May 2015. This isn’t the first co-authored article for Mullins. He also co-authored an article with the NSA Professor Mohammed Hafez in 2015, “The Radicalization Puzzle,” which explores radicalization of individuals in Western societies, also published in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism (read here).
To read “Cash is King,” click here.
The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) has presented Glen Woodbury, Director of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) the 2017 Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service Award. This award is given to individuals who have made cumulative outstanding contributions to the field of emergency management. An Army veteran, CHDS graduate, past president of NEMA, and former director of Emergency Management Division for Washington state, Glen Woodbury has been in the field of emergency management for more than 25 year. CHDS, where Woodbury is not only the director but also teaches, has a number programs focused on assisting homeland security leaders develop policies, strategies, programs, and organizational elements needed to defeat terrorism and to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and public safety threats across the United States.
To read more, click here.
NSA Professor Mikhail “Misha” Tsypkin was honored by NPS recently for his 30 years of service. Professor Tsypkin, who is the Academic Associate for three NSA curricula (249, 684, and 688), has been teaching at NPS since 1987. Professor Mohammed Hafez, the Chair of the NSA Department, said, “Professor Tsypkin has been a great mentor to our students over the decades, seeing some develop into admirals and military leaders here at home and abroad.” Professor Tsypkin is an expert on Russia, an area of growing importance today, and the NSA Department thanks him for his service to the department, NPS, and our students.
For information on the award ceremony, click here.
Graduating students from the National Security Affairs Department gather with several of their professors for a group portrait on the steps of Herrmann Hall, June 16. A total of 45 students received their Master of Arts in Security Studies, including officers from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force and from Germany, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya, Mexico, and Uganda. The NSA Department congratulates its most recent group of graduates and wishes them all the best.
NSA’s Dr. Thomas-Durell Young has published an article on the Sociology of Command in Central and Eastern Europe. From the abstract, Dr. Young explores the elements of the Communist concept of command continue to ramify throughout Central and Eastern European armed forces. These elements inhibit the orderly delegation of command, the consistent creation of defense capabilities, and the professional development of commanders and managers; they also impede these armed services from adopting the concepts of authority, accountability, and responsibility—concepts taken for granted in Western defense institutions.
To read the article, please click here.
NSA’s Dr. Erik Dahl has recently published an article in Intelligence and National Security entitled “Getting beyond Analysis by Anecdote: Improving Intelligence Analysis through the Use of Case Studies.” Dahl argues that although American intelligence officials have been trying since the 9/11 attacks to improve the quality of their analysis, they have so far failed to make much use of one of the most common methods used in the social science: case study analysis. Through better use of case studies, Dahl believes, the intelligence community will be able to help policymakers as they wrestle with the many challenges facing the country.
Dahl says he also had a second reason for writing the article: to help NPS students understand what a case study is and how they can use case studies more effectively in their own master’s theses and other work. “My students often ask me,” Dahl said, “How long should a case study be? How do I do one? How many case studies do I need in my thesis? I hope that this article can help them answer some of those questions.”
To read the article, click here.
NSA’s students from Mali have been featured in a recent edition of the Monterey Weekly. The eight students have come from Mali’s Ministries of Defense, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Finance and Security to attend a master’s program at the Naval Postgraduate School. Their government has tasked them with developing a new interagency group to address terrorism.
To read the story, click here.
NSA department congratulates two professors, Dr. Naazneen Barma and Dr. Zachary Shore, who have been tenured and promoted.
Dr. Barma’s is an outstanding professor with wide-ranging scholarship in the fields of post-conflict peace building and democratic governance. Her work has been widely praised for its theoretical insights, empirical rigor, and potential to inform policy debates. Dr. Barma’s book The Peacebuilding Puzzle is a singular contribution that challenges international institutions to think differently about post-conflict interventions and governance in fragile states. NSA Chair, Dr. Mohammed Hafez, had this to say about her cumulative contributions: “Dr. Barma has set a high bar for future tenure candidates in the NSA department, and she is the new gold standard by which their measure will be assayed.”
Prof. Shore’s analysis of foreign policy decision making in times of peace and war has been recognized as groundbreaking and analytically innovative. His theory of pattern breaks, based on the melding of cognitive psychology with historical analysis, is simply brilliant and has been recognized as such by historians, political scientists, and even military leaders like Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster. He shows that to really understand one's rival, do not just look for patterns in foreign policy behavior, but observe pattern breaks during times of crises. Departure from normal operating procedures can tell us a lot about what our rivals value the most. His book is as an important corrective to the conventional wisdom on how to study foreign policy decision making.
NSA’s Dr. S. Paul Kapur, along with Sumit Ganguly, has authored a new article that appeared in the 14 March issue of Foreign Affairs. As India’s fleet of MiG 21s is aging, it is seeking a replacement jet. In the article, the authors state there are two options for replacement under consideration, the Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Fighting Falcon and Saab’s JAS 39 Gripen. According to the authors, Indian leaders would like the plane they choose to be manufactured in India, and Lockheed Martin is willing to move its entire production line from Texas to India. The authors explore the potential benefits to both the United States and India that such a move would entail.
To read the article, click here.
A former NSA student, Sean C. Reynolds, and NSA Professor Mohammed Hafez have just published an empirical study entitled “Social Network Analysis of German Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq” in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence. In the article, the authors examine the question why do Westerners become foreign fighters in civil conflicts. They explore this question through original data collection on German foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, and test three sets of hypotheses that revolve around socioeconomic integration, online radicalization, and social network mobilization. The authors find only modest support for the integration deficit hypothesis and meager support for the social media radicalization theory. Instead, the preponderance of evidence suggests that interpersonal ties largely drive the German foreign fighter phenomenon. Recruitment featured clustered mobilization and bloc recruitment within interconnected radical milieus, leading the authors to conclude that peer-to-peer networks are the most important mobilization factor for German foreign fighters.
To read the article, click here.
NSA’s Dr. Cris Matei, along with coauthor Dr. Andrés de Castro García, has recently had an article published in International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. The article, titled “Chilean Intelligence after Pinochet: Painstaking Reform of an Inauspicious Legacy,” explores whether Chile is a successful case of intelligence democratization. To answer questions such as have Chile’s intelligence agencies successfully wiped out the stigma associated with the former military dictatorship’s ruthless past and has Chile established both transparent and effective intelligence agencies, fostering the development of an intelligence culture in the country, the authors first discuss the historical background of the Chilean military dictatorship and the role of intelligence. Moreover, they also discuss efforts of successive post-Pinochet governments regarding intelligence democratization and also whether Chile has achieved progress in institutionalizing its intelligence culture.
To read the article, click here.
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